East Devon Point-To-Point postponed

After two days of heavy rain and a forecast of more rain to come, a course inspection has been carried out on Friday 28th February, Reluctantly it has be decided to further postpone the
rearranged Point to Point meeting at Bishops Court on the 7th March and the East Devon is seeking a new date.


Mixed bag as pointing resumes: Six races, six bookmakers, one complete outsider wins and two odds-on shots beaten

The relentless rain stopped just in time for the first race as the final Wadebridge meeting of the season got under way on testing ground at the showground. This was about the only crumb of comfort for the small army of punters, as most of the fancied horses were about to be sunk without trace, leaving the six just men with the boards counting their winnings.

Honest Deed (4-6 to 4-5 fav) started the rot for favourites in the four-runner opener, stalking the leaders until unseating his rider at the third last. Raddon Top (11-4 to 5-2) stayed on gamely to take the prize, just holding the spirited effort of Somewhere To Be (solid 4’s).

They went 2-1 the field in the 11-runner Open Maiden with Arctic Milly heading the market. Once again this mare was not entirely foot perfect, leaving the more fluent Cottage Rose (7-2 to 3’s) to get on top up the final climb. The Kitchenmecanic (6’s to 5’s) was well back in third, but her stable is not firing yet and this mare can win a Maiden. The gamble of the race was Oscar World, forced in from 10’s to 4’s for the Stuart Payne yard. She dropped away on the final circuit but is probably capable of better.

Nickelsonthedime had already created a good impression when beating the aforementioned Cottage Rose at the last Wadebridge meeting. The layer who chalked up an opening show of 5-4 for the Restricted was quickly swamped, and 1-2 ruled at the off. It could easily have been 1-10 as the useful looking Shantou six-year-old came right away from the third last to win by an official 17 lengths. Georges Legacy (8-1) put a string of moderate efforts behind him to finish second and it was good to see Jimmy Cole back in the saddle to partner his Macca’s Stowaway (12-1) into third place.

Cloudy Music (2’s to 5-4) was the clear form choice in the Intermediate. I made her the best bet on the card but she faded quickly after leading until the final ditch. She had Bridge of Spies (6-1) and Dragon de la Tour (8-1) behind her at the Christmas meeting at Wadebridge, but this pair filled the first two places here. Bridge of Spies always looks like a ball of muscle and gave his young novice rider Conor Houlihan a double on the day.

The Ladies’ Open looked a trappy affair and three of the four runners jumped the last with a chance. At the business end, Chloe Emsley forced Wind Tor (2’s to 6-4 jt fav) up to beat the rallying Chosen Lucky (4-6 to 6-4 jt fav). Inch Rock (7-2) finished a close third after leading most of the way.

Once again punters got a smack in the face in the concluding four-runner Men’s Open. Navanman (4-6 fav) lost his unbeaten record for the season behind the unconsidered Ballyhowne (14-1). The winner ended last season when winning a good Conditions race at Upcott Cross at 33-1 but had shown nothing in his two outings this season. Millanisi Boy (6-4) finished second and will surely win points this year. Navanman , carrying a 7lbs penalty, was only third and was never really travelling.

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“How like a winter hath my absence been from thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year…”

Sonnet by William Shakespeare 1564 – 1615

Yes I know Will: the weather has spoilt our racing for a few weeks, but we are back now and point-to-point people are hardy folk so cheer up.

We resumed in the Devon & Cornwall area as the Western meeting finally defeated the bad weather on Sunday (23rd Feb) at the Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge. Much credit goes to the organisers, whose determination to race following their two weeks postponement paid off.

Morning rain gave way to a dry, overcast afternoon. A turn out of 37 runners from the 59 entries on very soft ground (with a temporary paddock) provided plenty of action for the select band of die hard spectators.

It was a day to remember for jockey Conor Houlihan, who partnered his first winner in England on Raddon Top in the opening race before following up on Bridge of Spies in the Intermediate.
Sue Trump’s promising seven-year-old Raddon Top had to fend off the sustained challenge of Somewhere To Be (Tamby Welch) on the finishing climb. Trainer Leslie Jefford explained, “Raddon Top had a stress fracture after Ottery last year. He is a bit more street wise now but really wants better ground.” It was a good day for the Jeffords as Master Baker also obliged for the yard at Badbury Rings.

21-year-old jockey Conor Houlihan, whose brother Sean won the Devon & Cornwall Novice Riders’ title before turning professional, is from Dungarvan near Waterford, and had ridden three winners in Ireland. “I work for Will Biddick and he has given me lots of good advice,” related Conor, easily the tallest rider in the weighing room.

Tall or not, the young jockey rides stylishly enough, and went on to complete a double thanks to the sturdy West Somerset gelding Bridge of Spies, who took the Intermediate by 10 lengths in the colours of George and James Beilby. Cloudy Music proved a disappointing favourite here for Darren Edwards, dropping back after five out, leaving Dragon de la Tour to chase home the winner in a slow motion slog up the hill.

Darren Andrews partnered the runner up in the Intermediate, but he had earlier secured his sixth winner of the season when the gallant mare Cottage Rose, a daughter of the useful pointing mare Roll On Rose, outstayed her 10 opponents to win the Open Maiden. John Heard trains this home bred six-year-old and shares ownership with David Willis. “I think the break did her good. I had her so well at home,” reported the Okehampton trainer. The favourite Arctic Milly almost made it another for the Jeffords but rider Millie Wonnacott reported that the mare “missed the last two jumps,” and had to settle for the runner up spot.

Navanman, seeking his fourth win of the season, was expected to give the Heard / Andrews combination further success in the Men’s Open, but was never really travelling under his penalty and could only finish third behind 14-1 winner Ballyhowne and Millanisi Boy. The winner had shown little in his two previous efforts this season, but got the benefit of a positive ride from Tom Chanin, whose father Robert trains the 10-year-old for the Stone Valley Racing Club. “We decided to ride him differently. We had tried to settle him but it didn’t suit him, so I let him settle in front today. He had won his races in Ireland like this and it paid off,” said the rider.

Josh Newman was narrowly denied on Millanisi Boy, but took the Restricted as the promising six-year-old Nickelsonthedime strode clear of George’s Legacy from the bottom bend to follow up his North Cornwall Maiden victory. The Shantou gelding looks a smart prospect for owners Terry Hamlin and John Gardener. “He hated the ground but still quickened at the cross fence (three out)”, reported the rider. It was good to see Jimmy Cole back in the saddle after a lengthy absence as he rode Macca’s Stowaway into third place here.

The Ladies’ Open produced a desperate three horse finish with joint favourites Wind Tor (Chloe Emsley) and Chosen Lucky (Charlotte Summersby) just shading the front running Inch Rock (Pippa Glanville) in the last few strides. The winner carried the familiar silks of The Otter Club and, like Inch Rock, was saddled by Ed Walker. Chloe Emsley has now ridden six of her nine career winners on the showground and said, “We winged the last two and it made the difference. She was very game in the tiring old ground,” adding with a smile, “I like this track and can sneak down the inner.”

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Going soft, heavy patches

Conditions – veteran & novice riders (sponsor Hog House Animal Feeds Helston)

1 Raddon Top (Conor Houlihan) 5-2 held up, led 14th, driven clear flat

2 Somewhere To Be (Tamby Welch) 4-1 in touch, hdwy to chase wnr 15th, every chance til no extra flat

4 ran; only two finished; 6m 34s


Open Maiden (The Old Coastguard)

1 Cottage Rose (Darren Andrews) 3-1 alwys prom, led three out, stayed on strongly

2 Arctic Milly (Millie Wonnacott) 2-1 fav handy, disp lead 15th, close 2nd two out, no extra nr finish

3 The Kitchenmecanic (Rob Hawker) 5-1 well in touch til wknd 15th

11 ran; 1l; 12l; 6m 45s


Restricted (Stimson & Tieken)

1 Nickelsonthedime (Josh Newman) 1-2 fav held up, led three out, soon quickened clear, easily

2 Georges Legacy (Darren Edwards) 8-1 alwys leaders, every chance four out, outpaced next

3 Macca’s Stowaway (Jimmy Cole) 12-1 made most til headed three out, tired flat

6 ran; 17l; 8l; 6m 34s


Intermediate (Hutchinsons, Truro)

1 Bridge of Spies (Conor Houlihan) 6-1 handy, led 15th, soon clear, kept on flat

2 Dragon de la Tour (Darren Andrews) 8-1 chased ldrs, went 2nd two out, not reach winner

3 Acadian (Lee Drowne) 7-2 prom, led 14th, 2nd three out, one pace

7 ran; 10l; 4l; 6m 33s


Ladies Open (The Tinners Arms, Zennor)

1 Wind Tor (Chloe Emsley) 6-4 jt fav tracked ldrs, effort inner two out, ran on strongly

2 Chosen Lucky (Charlotte Summersby) 6-4 jt fav close 2nd mostly, every chance two out, finished well

3 Inch Rock (Pippa Glanville) 7-2 led 2nd til joined last, no extra nr finish

5 ran; ll; neck; 6m 40s


Men’s Open (Peter George Memorial, Mrs Anita George & family)

1 Ballyhowne (Tom Chanin) 14-1 made virtually all, hard pressed two out, stayed on well

2 Millanisi Boy (Josh Newman) 6-4 chased wnr from 15th, stayed on well flat, just failed

3 Navanman (Darren Andrews) 4-6 fav chased ldrs, nudged along 12th, held in 3rd from two out

4 ran; 1/2l; 4l; 6m 37s

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East Cornwall course preparations well underway


Unfortunately, following an inspection at Bishops Court it was unanimously agreed that the ground conditions meant that it would still be unraceable next weekend (1st March). Therefore the following new dates have been agreed subject to conditions and new officials being found:

  • Saturday 7th March East Devon at Bishops Court. Entries will open at normal time for that weekend (up until Monday 2nd March)
  • Sunday 8th March East Cornwall at Great Trethew. Entries will stand

Subject to conditions and new officials being found


Unfortunately, due to the ground conditions, the East Cornwall Foxhounds have been forced to cancel its point to point at Great Trethew this coming Sunday 23rd February, and is now looking for another date. The Western point to point at Wadebridge, which had been abandoned, is now intending to run in its place on Sunday due to a gap in the calendar, if it can find the necessary officials. This meeting is will be a great day so please support it!

Entries will stand in both cases.

The PPA and PPSA are doing all that they can in these very difficult conditions to support the fixtures and innovative ideas that are being proposed. However, it is very difficult to put on fixtures, or change dates, at short notice due to the requirements these days. If you can help in any way, please do not hesitate to offer your assistance to your local fixture. In particular, we have a shortage of available doctors for some rearranged meetings.


Buckfastleigh Postponed

The South Pool Point to Point is postponed. The course is in very good condition but with the worry of high winds and also the car parking we have regretfully made this decision, hopefully will fix a new date A.S.A.P – Jacqui Elliott, Hon. Secretary.

East Cornwall Point-To-Point Weatherbys entry fee and passes update

Sandie Newton has advised that the East Cornwall Weatherbys entry fees are to be increased to £34 and £19 respectively for 2020, and not as set out in the planner at £33 and £18. The increase is due to Weatherbys increasing their rate this season, the old rates were erroneously included in the planner and the East Cornwall are not actually increasing their entry fee.

In addition no entry passes will be sent out, but passes will be left on the gate so owners must let the gate person know the name of their horse.